Copyright Exceptions

Intellectual Property and Copyright Exceptions

Use of Technology in the Classroom, Audio/Video Recording of Lectures, and Copy of Class Notes, Overheads, and Power Point Presentations, as Academic Accommodation

For some students who experience disabilities, academic accommodation of use of technology, including digital recording of lectures, and/or provision of a copy of class notes, overheads and Power Point presentations, is necessary to enable them to gain full advantage of a course or lecture that might not otherwise be accessible to them.

The Alberta Human Rights Commission Interpretive Bulletin: Duty to accommodate students with disabilities in post-secondary educational institutions indicates, “The institution must make the course material as accessible as possible. This may include:

  • providing material in an accessible format on Web sites
  • making instructor's notes or projected presentations (for example, Power Point presentations) available in advance
  • providing options or support to audio record the lecture”

When recording of classes, and/ or provision of class notes, overheads, and Power Point presentations, is deemed as useful and necessary academic accommodation, recording is allowable under existing copyright legislation (Copyright Act, Reproduction in alternate format, Section 32. (a),, accessed March 5, 2015)

While clearly, there is a legal and ethical responsibility for all faculty and staff to ensure that all students have an opportunity to access auditory information presented in classes, lectures, seminars, labs and other educational opportunities, professors often express concerns about infringement of intellectual property rights, widespread distribution and perhaps alteration of the information, and inhibition of free exchange of information in classes that involve self-disclosure from students.

To balance the legal necessity to provide academic accommodation, with faculty members’ rights to intellectual property, students sign a digital recording agreement with the ALC. The agreement will be retained in a confidential file in the Accommodated Learning Centre.

Permission to digitally record classes and/or provision of a copy of class notes, overheads, and Power Point presentations :

The following will apply for the academic accommodations of permission to digitally record classes and/or receive a copy of class notes, overheads, and Power Point presentations:

  • The academic accommodation will be granted, through the ALC, to students who have submitted appropriate documentation
  • The recommendation for this accommodation will appear on the letter of accommodation sent at the beginning of the semester, or when the student registers with us.

Students for whom this is an approved accommodation will be required to sign an agreement, to be retained on file in the ALC, indicating that recording of course material and/or provision of a copy of class notes, overheads, and Power Point presentations is for personal use and will not be copied, shared, or redistributed, in any form, to any person.